COVID Back-to-School

A tool for generating actionable information on how to reopen schools, universities, and workplaces
COVID Back-to-school screenshot

To control spread of COVID, we must implement social distancing measures. Rather than arbitrarily implementing measures against COVID spread, we have built a tool that gives you a quantitative approach to controlling spread. COVID Back-to-School is a tool for generating actionable information on how to reopen schools (elementary, secondary, boarding), universities, workplaces, etc.

There are three basic steps to using COVID Back-to-School:

  • Tell us about your school, pre-COVID.
  • Tell us about where your population is coming from upon reopening. To do this you upload a CSV file indicating how many people come from each county in the US, and for international entities, each country in the world.
  • "Tune" the social distancing knobs until you achieve the outcome you desire.

For different settings of the social distancing "knobs,: you can find out how the infection will spread in your school/university/organization. You can tune the knobs until the spread is a tolerable level for you. The settings for these knobs will then tell you what social distancing protocols you need in place to accomplish that level of tolerable spread.

COVID Back-to-School was conceived of and prototyped by Malik Magdon-Ismail. Production development of the R Shiny-based web app was directed by Kristin P. Bennett and John S. Erickson.

The web implementation of COVID Back-to-School is by students and staff of The Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with generous support from the United Health Foundation.

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